By Karen T. Braeckel
HSPA Foundation

The calendar shows June well in our rearview mirror. How did that happen?

You may recall in this year’s January edition of The Publisher, then-HSPA Foundation President Pat Lanman challenged everyone from publishers on down to participate in a fund drive dubbed 2014K.

As a guest writer in this space, Lanman outlined his plan:

“2014K” is a program that comes from the belief that people working together can accomplish much.

As a foundation, we have been blessed through the years with participation at the corporate level of our industry as well as many private benefactors who have given generously to help us further the causes of First Amendment freedom and others that support Indiana through newspapers.

Now, through 2014K, we seek to widen our individual donor base so those important efforts can continue.

How does it work?

I am establishing a goal of raising $14,000 in 2014 through individual donations. In the spirit of everyone sacrificing a little bit in order to accomplish something really big, I am asking that each of you consider making a $20 donation to the HSPA Foundation.

Your donation is tax deductible, and in the grand scheme of things you probably won’t miss that $20 very much. But when your donation comes together with the donations of others, great things begin to happen.

If the foundation receives 700 donations of $20 each, it reaches the goal.

Just a few days into the second half of the year, I can tell you we aren’t there yet. Not even close.

But we have plenty of time.

Lanman’s staff in Vevay set the pace with 100 percent participation. Some individuals from other papers generously gave more than $20.

Last week a Foundation board member asked for some of the donation materials to insert in payroll envelopes. We will see if that helps. The Foundation will supply you with any number you need if you are interested in trying this method of soliciting donations.

If employees ask why they should care, you might give a list of Foundation programs that directly affect them while making life better for the citizens of Indiana:

• Advertising and editorial contests. These coveted awards recognize excellence in journalism. While they reward hard work, they also provide a way to share great ideas that improve coverage for readers.

• Workshops, seminars and conferences. The Foundation offers many opportunities throughout the year to learn from industry experts on topics from digital training to improving customer service – with photography, reporting, editing, advertising design and sales, increasing audience size and general issues somewhere in between. Through Foundation subsidies, registration fees remain low so more staff members can attend and learn to make their jobs easier. At the same time, readers benefit from better products.

• Support of First Amendment rights. The Foundation provides funds for amicus briefs in cases involving freedom of the press and threatening lawsuits against newspapers’ rights.

• Eugene S. Pulliam Internships, advertising interns and high school scholarships. These programs strive to keep the best and the brightest students at Indiana newspapers by providing opportunities for them to learn about the industry while helping with the summer workload during vacation time.

• Educational Sessions on Legal and Access Issues. Community leaders, government officials and reporters learn about open door, public access and libel laws throughout the year as Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, presents his sessions across the state.

• Newspaper in Education support. A webpage on the Foundation site offers weekly activities for teachers and parents to use the newspaper in the classroom and at home to develop future readers. Students learn the value of the newspaper as a great source of information. Some newspapers across the state offer schools the e-edition – a format today’s young people adapt to quickly.

By increasing our donor base, the Foundation can improve programming and offer more services.

Lanman told the story of his wife, a first-grade teacher with more than 30 years of experience, frequently asking her students, “How do you eat an elephant?” They know the correct answer: “One bite at a time!”

We ask individuals to help the Foundation one bite at a time – one $20 bill at a time.

To participate mail a check to HSPA Foundation 2014K, 41 E. Washington St., Suite 301, Indianapolis, IN 46204. Include your name, mailing address, newspaper and job title.

We thank you in advance for your generosity. Watch for updates on the campaign in future editions of The Publisher.

Karen T. Braeckel is director of the HSPA Foundation.